Time to Get Out There
FitMe Wellness’ latest fitness innovation reaches an often underserved population.
Mike Barr, Sales Director at Crimson Pointe Assisted Living, has been a member at FitMe Wellness for nearly as long as we’ve been open. This summer, he began talking with Tom Craig, FitMe’s Director of Membership Sales, about organizing weekly outings for his residents to utilize FitMe’s state-of-the-art facilities. He explained that Crimson Pointe is always looking for meaningful ways to bring residents into new environments. Creating a program with FitMe had the added benefit of incorporating physical fitness that they simply wouldn’t get anywhere else.
It was decided that Crimson Pointe residents would come as a group by bus during the early afternoon hours, when FitMe empties out from its busier mornings and lunchtime workouts and before the afterwork crowd shows up. In an effort to make the newcomers feel comfortable and welcome, personal trainer Rachel Nelson worked up a plan. Since the program commenced, she’s designed and overseen weekly workouts to ensure that all the residents were safe and making real progress. We’ve always said that FitMe Wellness is where anyone can find their fit. With members aged 13 to 93, this has always been true. A recent conversation with a long-time member got us to look at how we can serve a population who can no longer drive themselves to FitMe so that we could help them find their fit.
“The participants are getting a full body, one-hour workout in which we incorporate walking and riding bikes for cardio, stretching for flexibility, resistance training, and strength training. I aim to make it a well-rounded hour where they use different equipment and machines within their ability,” Nelson says. “This benefits their physical health, helping them build and maintain strength, stamina, and flexibility. The program also benefits the participants mental health by giving them a scheduled social outing each week where they get to come to FitMe and experience a gym setting outside their assisted living facility.”
Barr loved the plan and immediately signed on to underwrite the launch of the program, which was dubbed AssistMe. “The ability to work with specialized equipment, and having the expertise of a professional trainer supervising the routines, is simply something that we cannot offer if we were to do this at Crimson Pointe,” he explains.
Nelson has observed an evolution in the participant’s behavior as well. “I have noticed the participants who have been here regularly are becoming more comfortable. They are sharing more about themselves and their life. It’s becoming not just physical activity, but a time for them to talk and be social with me and with each other. Participants also have become more comfortable asking questions, telling me their needs or abilities, etc. I think they are starting to realize the atmosphere we strive for at FitMe — that it is more than just a gym. We are a community and they have become a part of that.”
When they return to Crimson Pointe, they end up stopping by Mike’s office, “They constantly tell me how much fun they’re having with Rachel and Tom, and how good they feel physically after their weekly trip.” That, after all, is what we strive for at FitMe Wellness — to be a place where everyone feels comfortable as they work on improving their physical fitness. •
To learn more about FitMe Wellness’ AssistMe program and how it can be implemented at other local senior facilities, please contact Tom Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.